Gwyneth Paltrow has won her ski collision trial

She’s Gwynocent.

Harper's Bazaar India

For the past eight days, Academy Award-winning actress and Goop founder, Gwyneth Paltrow, has been involved in a trial regarding an alleged hit-and-run ski incident, with footage of the star’s testimony surfacing on social media. The Shakespeare in Love star was being sued to the tune of AU$450,000 (approx.₹2,48,00,000) by retired optometrist Terry Sanderson, who claimed that she was skiing “out of control” when the two collided on the beginner’s slopes at Deer Valley Ski Resort in 2016.

Meanwhile, Paltrow claimed that it was she who was hit by Anderson, and accused him of “attempt(ing) to exploit her celebrity and wealth.” She counter-sued him for the symbolic amount of one dollar, plus the cost of her legal fees.

As of this morning, jurors determined that it was Sanderson, not Paltrow, who was to blame, asserting that he was 100 per cent at fault for the collision.

Ahead, a brief overview of everything you missed from the viral trial.

What happened in Gwyneth Paltrow’s ski collision trial?

Originally, Sanderson sued Paltrow for negligence and emotional distress in 2019. He claimed the alleged collision had caused a permanent traumatic brain injury, plus, per The Cut, “4 broken ribs, pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress, and disfigurements.” He had initially named the actress’ ski instructor as a co-defendant. But, Insider reported that a district judge dropped the instructor from the lawsuit in 2022, citing a lack of evidence. The judge also dismissed Sanderson’s emotional-distress claim.

In an opening statement, Sanderson’s lawyer Lawrence Buhler claimed that Paltrow hit his client and had been looking at her children, not where she was skiing. He also claimed that she left the area three to four minutes later, while Sanderson was taken to a first aid tent by sled. However, Paltrow’s attorney Stephen Owens claimed that Sanderson apologised to her following the incident, and that she stayed on the scene until the ski patrol came by.

Paltrow took to the witness stand on Friday, the fourth day of the trial. At one point in her testimony, the actress described her experience of the collision as “there was a body pressing against me and a very strange grunting noise.” She also said that she and her children were taking a ski lesson when “he struck me in the back.”

Several other moments of her testimony were posted as clips on social media, including a moment where one of Sanderson’s attorneys, Kristin A. VanOrman, asked Paltrow about her height, and another where the actress was asked whether she’s a “good tipper.”

Taylor Swift also came up at one point in Paltrow’s testimony, as the pop star also asked for one dollar in symbolic damages during her legal battle against radio DJ David Mueller in 2017. When the actress was asked whether she knew of Swift’s “similar symbolic damage lawsuit” when she was questioned about the connection in 2020, Paltrow said that she didn’t know of Swift’s suit at the time but has since been made aware.

VanOrman went on to ask whether Paltrow is good friends with Swift, which the actress answered: “I would not say that we’re good friends. We are friendly. I’ve taken my kids to one of her concerts before but, we don’t talk very often.

Paltrow also stated that “Mr Sanderson categorically hit me on that ski slope, and that is the truth,” adding, “I feel very sorry for him. It seems like he’s had a very difficult life, but I did not cause the accident so I cannot be at fault for anything that subsequently happened to him.”

The trial continues, with Paltrow’s children taking the stand. Sanderson also took the stand to give his side of the story.

Story also written by Ella Sangster 

This piece originally appeared in Harper's Bazaar US